Sons want to capture their dad’s awe.
Daughters want to capture their dad’s attention.
John Elderidge, in his little booklet, You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs To Know, states it this way:
“Little boys look to their dads to answer the question: ‘Do I have what it takes? Am I a man?’ Little girls look to their dads to answer the question: ‘Am I lovely? Am I worth fighting for?'”
I believe those questions are answered through their dad’s holy kiss. Sounds strange, but stay with me.
Dads, you can give your kids a holy kiss through:
Of course, family dynamics, family history, and personalities play a role. The level of affection may vary. So apply accordingly. But let me shoot for the stars.
Hug your son. Long and tight. Cup his face in your hands and tell him he is a man and has what it takes. Give your son a literal holy kiss to his cheek and forehead.
Kiss your daughter. Dote on her. Stroke her face and tell her she’s lovely and worth fighting for. Scratch her back, hold her hand, hug her tight, and let her sit in your lap.
Do all the above whether they are six or forty-six.
Your son is asking: “Do I have what it takes? Am I a man?”
He’s asking this as he somersaults off the couch, shows you his drawing, runs down the track, gets cut from the team, shares his secret, weeps after the break-up, hands you his acceptance letter, mentions his promotion, or loses his job.
Are you noticing (not grading)? Are you affirming with your undivided attention? Are you showing him he captivates you?
Your daughter is asking, “Am I lovely? Am I worth fighting for?”
She’s asking this as she prances about, sings and dances, arm-wrestles you, competes against her brothers, keeps climbing into your lap, gets no invite to the prom, shows you her new clothes and pedicure, scores the goal, rambles on about her friends, or struggles in her marriage.
Are you paying attention? Are you showing that you are captivated by her?
I received a book years ago about practical ways to love my sons. One sentence read, “Take their calls…forever.”
In other words, be available. If your child needs you, hit the stop button and be there. If you’re child just wants to connect with you, and you’re in a pinch, tell them. But let them know exactly what that pinch is (if appropriate), and precisely when you will connect with them later. And do so—come hell or high water.
Dads, trust that the lawn will get mowed, the emails will get answered, the deadline will be met, and God’s grace will come for sleep deprivation. Welcome your kids to interrupt your time, your work, your game, and your movie. Be available to them till kingdom come.
And give them your holy kiss…forever.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Have you subscribed to my blog? Coming later this month will be a free giveaway of “10 Ways to Support a Loved One with Mental Illness.”
If you liked this post, you might also like, 5 Ways You’re Most Tempted To Ruin your Life.